Posts Tagged ‘market rate’

Do I Stay

March 6, 2022

Or do I go?

My upstairs neighbor has been playing horrid music all day.

All damn day.

Since 11a.m.

It is now 8:15p.m.

Non-stop, no rest, no break, hardcore electronic, thump, thump, thump bass music.

It is like living inside a headache.

How’s that meth treating you dude?

I’m pretty sure the kid is using, the hours he keeps, the loud music, the people in and out partying, banging the gate, the music that is non-stop.

He’s a DJ.

He’s actually a bagger at Whole Foods, not to disparage anyone in any service industry, but he’s a hobbyist.

Not a real DJ.

Or, not a DJ with any fucking talent.

Then again, even the best DJ on the planet might stress me out if I was listening to it non-stop without being able to turn it off for nine hours.

I’ll get a reprieve at 10p.m. when we play our nightly routine of chicken when I give him a few minutes to shut down the damn system, noise ordinance, and then go out and stridently ring the door bell.

He never answers, but the music does tend to stop.

Not always.

But a few complaints to the landlord–seven emails documenting time of day and levels of noise (anywhere from 12:30p.m. to once at 4:30a.m.) including me recording how loud it was with my phone and sending that in–a complaint filed with the city and calling the cops three times, has helped a bit to get him to comply with turning off the system.

Normally I’m not in my damn house all day, except when I’m in my home office seeing clients during the work week on video, and there are a few weekdays he obviously is not working–Tuesdays and Thursdays, when it’s going off all day long.

But today.


Today I was in the house all day long.

Not my happy place for a weekend day.

But I hurt my back a couple of days ago.

Fuck me.

I am getting old.

I pulled a muscle in my back and it has been a screaming nightmare.

I mean.


I exaggerate a little but it has been really painful.

I got it, sigh, hopping around putting on a pair of leggings.


It just went out and I screamed and said, “no!” really loudly.

It was also, wait for it, the first day I was going back into office to see clients in person.

Fuck my life.

I hobbled to my office.

I have hurt my back in this same place before and know that the muscles there are not great.

The first time I injured it was back in 2005 and it was a dozy.

Like super fucking bad.

I didn’t pull a muscle then, I tore a muscle and it took so long to heal.

I couldn’t bend over, I couldn’t lift anything more than 5lbs for literally six or seven months.

I walked with a fucking cane for five months.

It was horrendous.

This was not that, but it spooked me, it was too close for comfort.

So I knew I had to take it easy the last few days and fortunately there has been some recovering, I certainly did not tear a muscle, I have been able to lift things and move around, although watching me put groceries away would have been a hoot if you had seen me trying to get things in the fridge.

Lift with your legs!

I got down too low at one point and just threw things in the fridge.

I also couldn’t load the bottom part of my dishwasher, so doing all the dishes by hand, luxury problem.

And let me not forget the agony of changing the cat box out.

Good grief.

Today I tried to go out for a walk and realized that I had been over compensating with other parts of my back and now the middle part and my shoulders are fucked up.


So I just did a very slow mosey around a few blocks and came back home.

I got nestled on the couch with lunch, a heating pad, a book, a cup of tea and just stayed there the whole day.

Around 5p.m. I had had it with the music.

Remember the part about being inside a head ache?


I tried to nap and I couldn’t.

The music was just too much.


I thought, well, hmm, maybe it is time to move.

All my requests about lowering the music have been pretty snubbed and I have kept telling myself, you’ll wait him out, he’s a kid, he’ll move soon, I have invested a lot in my home and it’s lovely and cozy and I don’t really want to move.

Although I could stand a little more natural light and a little less street noise to be honest and my utilities here are pretty high–it’s not really an energy efficient apartment.


It’s a five minute walk to my office.

And I just started going back into my office.

And I like the location.



Pounding headache listening to this crap all day long.



And low and behold what is this?

Why look!

(UPDATED EDIT: I just went back to Craigslist after listening to more horrible music and thinking, yeah, maybe it is time to get the hell out of here and the ad changed! The ad fucking changed. It was listed for $2600, after I emailed my landlord the ad changed to $2750. I’m being gaslit, this happened to me when I saw my apartment when I moved in, I believe my landlord did a bait and switch putting an ad on Craigslist for $2750 which is what I had my filters set to on the site and when I came to see it, he showed me the ad for $2850, which is what my rent is, I was seriously confused but I also needed a place so I took it. And fuck, I should have taken a screen shot. GRRRR. I imagine there’s going to be a very interesting email tomorrow from my landlord.)

It’s the apartment across the way from me.

Which is literally the same size square footage as mine.

FOR $250 LESS!

Now it wasn’t always $250 less a month then my place.


When it first went on the market they were asking pre-pandemic San Francisco rent: $3300/month.

They never got it.

The apartment has been empty now for about a year.

The rent dropped to $3100.

Then to $2950.

Then to $2850 about four, maybe five months ago.

How do I know this?

Because I have gone on Craigslist more than once in frustration around the noise of the music.

And the apartment always pops up in my search.

So when I saw it today I was livid.

What the fucking hell?

I furiously texted a friend, I perseverated on it, I pulled out my SF Tenant Handbook and I looked up negotiating a rent decrease. I Googled some articles.

I debated inside my head.

All the while listening to DJ Douche Bag.

My fond moniker for my upstairs neighbor–who fyi is not the master tenant, he moved in last May and has been a freaking nuisance since then.

I know he certainly doesn’t pay as much rent as I do.

And I decided.

Fuck it.

I’m writing the landlord.

I let him know that I needed a few maintenance things done at the apartment and then I made the request.

I let him know I wanted to renegotiate the rent (I had tried once last year in August and he shut me down but said he wouldn’t raise the rent this year).

I reminded him of the obvious, I’m quiet, amiable, pay my rent on time–actually early I literally pay the rent every month on the fifteenth for the upcoming month as this is when I get paid.

I’m a solid tenant.

I also said that it was unreasonable for me to be paying substantially higher rent than that which was being offered to a new tenant to the building and I asked for my rent to be lowered to reflect the rent being offered in the ad.

I also offered to sign a longer lease, 2-3 years, if that would help.

I actually don’t want to move, it’s a fucking hassle, but if the apartment across the way is being rented for way less then what I am paying and the noise upstairs continues.

I’m out.

Despite what I hear on the street about rents going up it doesn’t seem to be that way and the fact that a one bedroom in Hayes Valley in a rent controlled building has been on the market for over a year tells me all I need to know.

It’s time to lower the rent.

Right damn now.

I don’t believe the house party is going to stop upstairs, but if I was paying $250 a month less in rent I do believe I could tolerate it a little better.

And if my landlord isn’t amenable.


I’ll be on the market for a new place.

Let me know if you know of anything.

Sans DJs.

Surprise Days Off

November 17, 2013


I received a text today explaining that one of my families was taking an unexpected trip home and I would not have their son next week.

However, she wanted to make sure I was compensated and left a check, including pay for the following week, for Thanksgiving.


Totally unexpected time off and the timing was perfect.

I was able to just now go back online and make my doctor’s appointment for Monday instead of Wednesday and I will not miss any work on Wednesday.

Plus, I will only have one baby, so even if I do have to take it easy, I will be able to.

And the mom I worked for today gave me not only some fabulous makeup from MAC, but a thank you for working for my family gift certificate for a massage.


So sweet.

How the fuck am I going to ask for a raise now?

My housemate said, they love you, they will want to make sure that you are taken care of.

They do.

I love them, but I am not holding myself hostage to my emotions anymore.

Fuck, the emotions are probably the cause of my shoulder being whacked.



Financial insecurity.

It all goes to rest in my body.

No wonder my stroller pushing shoulder is out of joint.

I revised the e-mail.

I still have not sent it yet.

But this time it makes me want to vomit, so I feel that I am on the right track.

“Take out the justification and ask for what you need,” John Ater said to me on the phone.

Which is why I sent it to him.

I was justifying why I should be paid more–experience, my rent, my student loans, how well I take care of children, blah, blah, blah–not being authentic, not coming out and saying what I needed and being already so afraid of their response that I was crafting and manipulating my ask.


Be authentic.

Be true.

Have the hard conversation.

Grow up.

Be genuine.

No hard feelings, either.

They can do it.

And if they can’t cool.

I still have a job that will pay my basics and I am free and clear to go out and look for the work at the rate I want.

I did not ask over market rates.

I just asked to be commiserate with them.

That is fair.

The timing on the days off, the gifts, and the sweetness of the mom with me today, just the Universe teasing me, leaving me more tender and vulnerable.

I really like them.

I do.

I really would like to not be stressed out about work.

If I don’t change, nobody out there is going to ask me to do it.

I am the impetus to my own growth.

No one else is interested in that.

My self-care has to be just that, my self-care.

Detach with love, bitches.


It is shaping up to be an interesting bit of my life, that is for sure.

I am super grateful for all the work I have been putting into things, however, I do feel that I am pushing into territory that I have skirted for too long.

Emotional intimacy.

Building relationships with my fellows.

Financial security.




I know it’s not as sexy as a club with a line of girls around the back of a toilet hoovering blow up their noses or the queue out the door for the show down the block, or the sexy sexy with a boy, but it is for me.

This is some sexy shit I am dealing with.

I can tell, because I can feel myself opening up more and taking better care of myself has also led to me dropping my guard down and letting people in and letting myself get out and play.

Not a ton, but more.

I went out tonight, which is not my normal anymore, to a bar, for a friends 40th birthday party.

I made an appearance, I dropped my gift and my card and took some photographs and hugged my friend who was mobbed with her friends (I knew three people there, including her husband) and danced a little before I called to see if my friend was out and could I get a ride home please.

Yes and yes.

Thankful for my friends.

All of them.

I squeezed her tight, “I love you so much,” I said and felt myself growing a little weepy, “you mean so much to me.”

And she does.

I met her on the AidsLifeCycle training rides in 2009.

I HATED her.

Damn girl always ahead of me at the rest stops with all the boys who were fast and made great times and there she was, always, just ahead of me.

But she offered me a ride home one day after a hellish ride, San Bruno Mountain anyone? And we just hit it off.

Burning Man, friends of friends, a kind of work ethic and ethos that we both share, communities that overlapped, and just a love of being in and around all things San Francisco.

She’s pretty fucking amazing.

And it made me realize, well, duh, so are you.

I am a reflection of my friends and when I think about all the awesome people in my life I am astounded that I get to be surrounded with them.

Let’s hang out!

I am going to have some time off.

I will be helping another darling friend of mine next weekend at an arts show downtown next weekend, working Monday for one family, and then–six days of freedom.


I know that I can book those dates up fast, so I am going to hold some of them open.

And it will be Thanksgiving week so many of my friends will be going out-of-town for family.

I have one offer on the table I am contemplating, but no solid Thanksgiving day itself plan.

The big plan, the only plan, that I can see forward at the moment is letting go of the hard conversation I must have with the moms.

Owning up to owning my needs.

No justifying.

Just truth and authenticity.

Love comes from a place of honest authenticity.

Not manipulation.

I can fall back on that old crutch.

Or I can leap forward and say, here, this is what I need, if you can’t give it to me, there is nothing wrong, I am still allowed to need it, ask for it, and expect that it will come.

It just may not be from the source I wanted it from.

But it will come.

For I will ask for it.

And in the doing.

Is the having.

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